A building formerly used as a warehouse facility for Churny Cheese is being evaluated as a site for Waupaca’s public works facility.
It is the second facility the city has considered. The other one is the vacant Affinia Brake Parks building.
The Common Council voted 9-0 during its Oct. 1 meeting to enter into a contract with Keller Inc., of Kaukauna, for an additional evaluation of the Churny Cheese building, which is located at 450 Industrial Drive.
Ald. Dave Shambeau, the Realtor listing the property, was absent.
The cost of the evaluation will be $2,850, and this will be in addition to the $2,000 previously approved for an architectural and structural inspection of the facility.
Mayor Brian Smith told the council the additional cost will cover the evaluation of the building’s plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems.
The building is between 30 and 35 years old, according to City Administrator Henry Veleker.
The 20,000-square-foot facility is listed at $649,000 and sits on an approximately five-acre parcel.
Veleker said the space needs for a public works facility dictate about 40,000 square feet.
This means the evaluation of the Industrial Drive building would require an addition in order for the city to have an “apples to apples” comparison with the Affinia building, which is about 41,000 square feet.
The Affinia building was constructed around 2001, and the cost to purchase and remodel that building is estimated at $5.2 million.
Converting that building into a public works facility was presented to the council as a proposal on July 16.
Prior to that proposal, the Common Council met in closed session for several months, negotiating the purchase of the building.
Since the council’s July 16 meeting, there have been additional closed sessions related to the topic of a public works facilty.
Veleker said it was “mainly Dave (Shambeau)” who brought the Industrial Drive building to the attention of the city.
However, the city administrator said other members of the council may have been aware of the availability of the building.
In July 2012, Churny Cheese announced it would close its plant in Waupaca.
If the council were to vote on purchasing that building, Shambeau would have to recuse from any recommendations or votes on it, Veleker said.
“He is aware of that,” Veleker said.
The city’s Public Works Department, along with the Parks Maintenance Department, currently operates out of five buildings.
The buildings are located throughout the central and east side of the city, with the average age of the buildings being 63 years old.
The need to address the Public Works and Parks facilities was raised as part of the 1999 City Facilities Study.